chalk » chock

Chiefly in:   chock (it) up (to)

Classification: English

Spotted in the wild:

  • “Chock it up to just another amateur exhibition of a lack of administrative ability,” said Georgia pollster Claibourne Darden. (John King, Associated Press, The Daily Gazette, Schenectady, NY, June 4, 1993)
  • Chock it up to the wildly popular Visa check card, which accounts for about one-third of all Visa dollar growth volume. (San Francisco Business Times, Mar. 26, 2003)
  • Chock it up to competition — that’s the American way. (Joel Widzer, Travel Tips, Sep. 14, 2005)
  • I chocked that up to a waiter with a serious chip on his shoulder. (Algene, Washington City Paper restaurant rater review, Feb. 24, 2006)
  • With such a worldview, individual success and happiness could only be chocked up to positive inborn traits and fortuitous circumstances. (Carl O'Donnell, Yahoo! AssociatedContent, Aug. 24 2010)
  • As easy as it would be to blame ourselves, quit the investigation before it begins and chock it up to a simple, self-deprecating condemnation - this time we may just be spared. (Andy Collier, The Post, Ohio University, Sep. 15, 2010)
  • This feeling has pervaded the franchise and its fan base for almost a quarter of a century and the mystery behind its cause has been philosophically chocked up to the ineffable, existential pain of being the “other baseball team” in town. (Thornton McEnery, New York Observer, Sep. 1, 2011)

Analyzed or reported by:

See also chalk » chuck, chock » chalk(ed).

| Comments Off link | entered by Ben Zimmer, 2011/09/03 |

disingenuous » disingenuine

Classification: English

Spotted in the wild:

  • “… and those who say that while he [Bob Dole] may need to develop a few oratorical skills — like building an argument rather than stating the bottom line — he would come across as disingenuine if he suddenly adopted a high-blown rhetorical style, which he probably would refuse to do anyway.” (link)
  • Many of the veal industry lobbyists flew to Sacramento in California to testify against our State legislation, which, by the way, makes it a little disingenuine when they talk about there is plenty of State legislation that would outlaw this cruelty, when, at the same time, they are fighting these very efforts on the State level. (link)

Analyzed or reported by:

  • Neal Whitman, Garson O'Toole (ADS-L postings 9 and 11 April 2011)

O’Toole on the two examples above: (1) In 1996 a New York Times writer used “disingenuine” and the editor did not block it. Cite: 1996 March 10, New York Times, POLITICS: BOB DOLE; Political Mechanic Strives for Big Picture by Katharine Q. Seelye, Page 1.18, New York. (ProQuest); (2) On June 6, 1989 a Congressional Subcommittee Hearing was held concerning the “Veal Calf Protection Act”. One of the participants was Bradley Miller, Executive Director, Humane Farming Association, and he used the term “disingenuine”.

Whitman had a cite from a friend’s Facebook update and gave links to the Urban Dictionary, Verbotomy (”the create-a-word game”), and Wordnik. A few occurrences are deliberate inventions, but many of the others appear to be spontaneous.

The eggcorn has the flavor of a portmanteau of disingenuous and genuine.

| Comments Off link | entered by Arnold Zwicky, 2011/04/11 |

one such » once such

Classification: English – resyllabification

Spotted in the wild:

  • Web services is once such technology. (link)
  • Australian football is once such example. (link)
| Comments Off link | entered by Lee Rudolph, 2010/04/11 |

ilk » elk

Classification: English

Spotted in the wild:

  • Without addressing these issues, NOW and others have nothing to offer the average Jane and in consequence, have allowed Sarah Palin and her elk to define women’s issues. (New York Times Opinionator blog comment, Dec 4, 2009)
  • My believe, today, is that this fool POTUS and his elk will crash and burn under their own wight. ( forum comment, Dec 4, 2009)
  • Her [Lakiha Spicer] and her elk are low quality people. (The Hollywood gossip blog comment, June 17, 2009)
  • Why can’t we, as a society, treat eachother with a bit of respect and give Madonna and her elk the 1st class treatment she deserves! (London Evening Standard comment, July 28, 2009)

Analyzed or reported by:

There is no obvious semantic link between the noun _ilk_ “sort, kind” and the animal of the family Cervidae, so this substitution surprises at first and cast doubt on its status as a genuine eggcorn.

Occurrences of _X and his/her/their elk_ are, however, readily found in online writing, and some of them are clearly systematic and non-accidental: The writer for _Leadership Nigeria_ employs the expression no less than 5 times.

On Language Log, reporting on Nancy Friedman’s original Sarah Palin example, Ben Zimmer offers some thoughts on what may be going on here:

> There’s nothing in the comment to suggest that this substitution was the result of intentional wordplay, but it’s hard not to think that the slip was influenced by Palin’s well-documented love of hunting big game in Alaska like moose and caribou. […] And perhaps the commenter is from a part of the country where milk is pronounced as [mɛlk] (say, Pittsburgh, Utah, or Washington State), rendering ilk and elk homophonous, or nearly so. Add the fact that ilk is a low-frequency word that lingers in crystallized idiomatic usage (”of X’s ilk,” “X and his/her/its/their ilk”), and it’s clear to see that this is a prime candidate for eggcornization.

Meanwhile in the Eggcorn Forum, our regular contributor Kem Luther finds a particular affinity between Sarah Palin and the _ilk>elk_ eggcorn, thereby strengthening Ben Zimmer’s point of a Palin -> Alaska -> elk connection:

* _And it is Palin and her elk that are running everyone else out of the republican party._ (Reader comment on Talking Points Memo)
* _i would rather be in hell first, than have anything to do with Christians like Sarah Palin and her Elk._ ( forum)

This is notwithstanding the fact that _Cervus canadensis_ is not specifically typical for Alaska. On the other hand, British English admits _elk_ for the animal called _moose_ in American English - compare with _Elch_ in German - and it should be noted that some of the cites are from British and Irish sources. (More on this topic in Bill Poser’s LL post.)

But to paraphrase commenter marie-lucie on Ben Zimmer’s article, if there is Artemis and her stag, why not Sarah Palin and her elk?

As the examples, show, however, the substitution is more than a Palin-specific nonce-eggcorn. It may still be questionable, used by writers who pronounce _ilk_ as [ɛlk] ans spell it phonetically; or it may reflect a genuine ideation of a cervid stand-in for the extension of the person who is the target of the speaker’s, or writer’s, finger-pointing.

| Comments Off link | entered by Chris Waigl, 2009/12/11 |

euphemism » youthamism

Variant(s):  youthanism

Classification: English

Spotted in the wild:

  • I’d jokingly ’spaz out’ and rant that ‘Sheila’ is an Australian youthamism, but some one has removed large fonts from my arsenal. (rap music forum, Feb 26, 2008)
  • drop-kick a banana
    this is a sexual youthanism made up by my friend jay but now everyone in town and school uses it. He had an unripe banana for lunch so spat it out and drop-kicked it causing a suspicous white mess on his shoe. After trying to explain it, jay and eventually other use “drop-kick a banana” as referance to anything sexual involving both a penis and a foot. (Urban Dictionary, Jul 22, 2008)
  • As it is I will continue kicking and taking names as Solider Shepard. (Bioware video game forum, Jan 4, 2008)
  • Now that the Internet has been “to use a youthamism” unleashed, information technology can flourish in this newly interconnected web of routers and servers across the globe. (Linkedin Answers, March 2009)
  • is pepper some new youthamism i dont know about :p (Flickr comment, April 2009)
  • On an ‘unconnected’ story the Shanghai District Public Sanitation Bureau has just issued 50,000 maps of local public conveniences for taxi drivers, it describes the initiative as a way to “reduce environment pollution”. Which has to be one of the best youthanisms I have ever heard! (blog entry, Feb 23, 2008)

Analyzed or reported by:

Once in a while I select an eggcorn because it appears in the seach terms of visitors to this site (the Eggcorn Database & associated forums). When I saw “youthamism” ranked 15th both for the month of August 2009 and for the enitre year to date, it seemed to me that something of interest was happening here.

Peter Forster’s forum post, which attracted all these visits, lists two innovations: _youthamism_ as noted here, and the less eggcornish _euthamism_ (usually in effect a creative error for _euthanaisa_, maybe triggered by the less common -sia suffix). The variant _youthanism_ can be found, too, indeed at a higher frequency than _youthamism_. Both, as eggcornish substitutions for _euphemism_, rely on an association of coy camouflage of offending words with youth.

However, _youthanism_ and to a lesser degree _youthamism_ can occur in situations of questionable eggcorn status, in the sense of “youth slang” — a blendoid reshaping of euphemism, most likely:

* _You have to limit yourself on how many “get her done” and “gag me with a spoon” you can have in your life. Youthamism are just that, for the youth to use, no honest adult should fall for the MTV trappings._ (link)
* _Can we start calling young slang “youthanisms”?_ (link)
* _Reading numerous reviews of this hotel posted here is mystifying, many contrasting comments like “smells of urine” or “sparsely furnished,“ to such superlatives as “immaculate” and youthanisms like “Plush,” demonstrating that this hotels appeal is not bound by any generational gaps._ (link)

Last, for reasons that are not clear, we find cites where _youtha(n|m)ism_ is employed in the sense of “quote” or “maxim”:

* _I am doing a speech why Sir Paul McCartney should be on the 4th plynth in London..whatare some famous quotes? like quotes to help persuade people to have him up there. My teacher is fairly old - around 50-60 and likes old, famous quotes E.g. She likes the quote “lend me your ears” by William Shakespeare. Any youthanisms would be good._ (link)
* _need some help here… I need to know some youthanisms. I typed it into the search engine Google but it came up with nothing… By youthanisms i mean something like “I want to live life to it’s fullest” “I want to live out my time” “I want to live my 9 lives” That kind of stuff…_ (link)

| Comments Off link | entered by Chris Waigl, 2009/08/26 |